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 Maurice A. “Maury” Nichols

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Maurice A. “Maury” Nichols

  • Birth 1 Sep 1923 Fairmont, Fillmore County, Nebraska, USA
  • Death 17 Sep 1993 Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska, USA
  • Burial Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska, USA
  • Plot 01.033.06
  • Memorial ID 75640102

Husband of Audrey B. Nichols. Married on Aug. 6, 1942.

NICHOLS, MAURICE ALLEN—Maurice Allen Nichols was born September 1, 1922, to Edgar William and Lille May Goodsell Nichols, on their family far near Fairmont. He died September 17, 1993, at his home in Geneva at the age of 71 years, 16 days. He was the last of six children born, preceded by brothers, Robert, Howard, Elvin, Jess and sister, Helen.

He attended country school in district 18, Kemper Military Academy in Booneville, Mo., and Geneva High School, where he graduated in 1940. Upon graduation, he went to work for his elder brothers, who had taken charge of Nichols Construction Company after their father’s death in 1936.

During this period of employment, he worked on road crews throughout the region, and met his future wife, Audrey Bell Cowan, while on a job in Clay county. In 1941, his desire to study communications led him to a radio school in Baltimore, Md., where his sister was living at the time. He took a job with Bell Telephone. Audrey followed him to the East, and they married in Relay, Md., on August 6, 1942, shortly after he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army.

He took basic training in fort Monmouth, N.J., and was attached to the Signal Corps due to his training in radio and telephone communications systems. While at fort Monmouth, he instructed signal corpsmen, and rejected the Army’s offer to attend officer training. In March of 1943, their first child, Linda Gayle, was born in Baltimore.

In December of 1944, Maury shipped out to the African Theater, leaving his wife and young child like so many other soldiers. During his tour of duty he performed as a specialist in communications installations and operations in Egypt, Palestine, Iran, Turkey and the Gold Coast. He achieved the rank of staff sergeant and returned from the war in 1946.

The following year, Maurice, Audrey and Linda returned to Geneva. Maurice resumed employment at Nichols Construction, but around 1950, he decided to open M.A. Nichols Construction, later known as Maury Corporation, which he owned and operated until 1980. In addition to the road construction company, he opened Geneva Redi Mix several years later; at the time one of the only concrete plants in the area.

As sole foreman during his early years in business, Maury was required to travel with the road crews and he took his family with him to Valparaiso, Crawford, Harrison, Curtis, Grant, Norfolk and other towns. His early successes in business allowed him to build a house on 9th Street in Geneva in 1952. In the late 1950’s, two more children, Gene Steven and Julie Ann, were added to the family. A second house was built in the country, where he lived with his wife and famiy for the next 29 years.

Maury Nichols was a man concerned with and active in many aspects of community life. He was a member of the Elks, VFW, American Legion, the Shriners, the Methodist church and the Masonic Lodge. His lifelong fascination with politics led him into conflicts at times, but he was clearly motivated by a deep sense of fairness and a need to see the best things done for the greatest number. His support to organizations like the Salvation Army and the Shriner’s Hospital was not only consistent, but also reflective of his private generosity of time, word, and deed to those in trouble.

Despite his lack of college education, there was little more obvious about Maury than his keen intelligence. This intelligence was reflected not only in business success, but in his need to experience and learn about as many facets of the world as he could in one lifetime. He was an avid reader of everything from the editorial pages in the newspaper to Shakespeare’s sonnets to history and biography.

He liked to travel, sometimes for no better reason than he was driven to see Halley’s Comet as it passed over Australia. He and Audrey visited many countries in order to experience cultures both primitive and remote. His love of nature and exploration was also satisfied by fishing and hunting trips which created lifelong friendships.

Throughout his life Maury cherished the arts, especially music. Music gave him pleasure, peace and a way to meditate. His knowledge of classical and popular music was extensive, and it was not unusual to find him at opera and concerts of various kinds, and he especially enjoyed it when friends at the house would play a song he loved on the piano.

What we will remember him for the most is complex and fierce love of people, laughter, and social interchange.

His high school friends will recall the inventive practical jokes. His colleagues will remember his bullheaded opinions and quick repartee. His family will recall detailed answers to simple questions. His many friends and acquaintances will remember his unique talent in telling a joke or a story and the charisma and charm he possessed that made them listen when he spoke.

It was always important to Maury to be independent and strong, and to carry on a full life. Even during the last stages of his illness, regardless of pain, he exercised his social talent. He was clearly energized by contact with his friends and drew an immense amount of strength from them throughout the final months of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers.

He is survived by his wife Audrey; daughters, Linda Paul; and Julie Nichols; son, Gene; two grandsons; and two granddaughters.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday, September 21, 1993, at the United Methodist church in Geneva with the Rev. Stan Rider officiating. Organist, Judy Ackland, accompanied vocalist, Karl Brinkman, who sang “Memory” and “Going Home” and also played favorites “Claire De Lune,” “The Entertainer” and “Bye, Bye Blackbird.”

Casket bearers were Leonard Ackland, John Chicoine, Steve Heath, Richard Lichti, Richard C. Nichols and Everett Renken. Honorary bearers were Mervell C. Bumgarner, Roscoe burke, Harlan Domeier, Jack Geiser, Terry Jones, Ben McCashland, Lila Nichols Miller, Herbert Stoldorf and Wally Roe.

Interment was in the Geneva Public Cemetery with military and Masonic services at graveside.

The Nebraska Signal October 6, 1993

Family Members





  • Created by: M. Jensen Seggerman
  • Added: 28 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 75640102
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maurice A. “Maury” Nichols (1 Sep 1923–17 Sep 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 75640102, citing Geneva Cemetery, Geneva, Fillmore County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by M. Jensen Seggerman (contributor 47078678) .